Multimorbidity and its associated factors among adults aged 50 and over: A cross-sectional study in 17 European countries.


Bezerra de Souza DL(1)(2)(3), Oliveras-Fabregas A(3)(4), Espelt A(5)(6)(7), Bosque-Prous M(8), de Camargo Cancela M(9), Teixidó-Compañó E(5), Jerez-Roig J(2)(3).
Author information:
(1)Department of Collective Health, Graduate Programme in Collective Health, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil.
(2)Postgraduate Programme in Collective Health, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte
(UFRN), Natal-RN, Brazil.
(3)Faculty of Health Sciences and Welfare, Research group on Methodology, Methods, Models and Outcomes of Health and Social Sciences
(M3O), Centre for Health and Social Care Research
(CESS), University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia
(UVic-UCC), Barcelona, Spain.
(4)Faculty of Psychology, Education and Sport Sciences Blanquerna, Physical Activity, Sport and Health Research Group, Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain.
(5)Faculty of Health Sciences of Manresa, University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia, Manresa, Spain.
(6)Departament de Psicobiologia i Metodologia en Ciències de la Salut, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
(UAB), Bellaterra, Spain.
(7)Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública
(CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.
(8)Faculty of Health Sciences, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
(9)Brazilian National Cancer Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


AIMS: To estimate the prevalence of multimorbidity among European community-dwelling adults, as well as to analyse the association with gender, age, education, self-rated health, loneliness, quality of life, size of social network, Body Mass Index (BMI) and disability. METHODS: A cross-sectional study based on wave 6 (2015) of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) was conducted, and community-dwelling participants aged 50+ (n = 63,844) from 17 European countries were selected. Multimorbidity was defined as presenting two or more health conditions. The independent variables were gender, age group, educational level, self-rated health, loneliness, size of network, quality of life, BMI and disability (1+ limitations of basic activities of daily living). Poisson regression models with robust variance were fit for bivariate and multivariate analysis. RESULTS: The prevalence of multimorbidity was 28.2% (confidence interval-CI 95%: 27.5.8-29.0) among men and 34.5% (CI95%: 34.1-35.4) among women. The most common health conditions were cardiometabolic and osteoarticular diseases in both genders, and emotional disorders in younger women. A large variability in the prevalence of multimorbidity in European countries was verified, even between countries of the same region. CONCLUSIONS: Multimorbidity was associated with sociodemographic and physical characteristics, self-rated health, quality of life and loneliness.